Top 6 Rap Songs That Criticize the USA
The Geto Boys
Photo by Marco Torres
Word to your mamas, sucka emcees. It's the Fourth of July (or, as the Native American guy that I went to college with used to half-jokingly refer to it, "The Most Fucked Up Holiday I Can Think Of... Why Don't We Just Go Ahead And Start Celebrating 9/11, Because That's Basically What This Is For Me"). So let's hop to.
One of the best things about being an American is citizens have the right to criticize the government, even vehemently. So, accordingly, roll forward for a proper playlist of a few of the very best anti-American rap songs that are immediately available on YouTube. You know what it is.
6. Geto Boys, "Fuck a War"
First, is there any way that Bushwick Bill doesn't answer the phone, "Bushwick motherfuckin' Bill"?
Second, a couple quotes:
"You can't pay me to join an Army camp or any other motherfuckin' military branch of this United goddamn States of this bitch America"
"Yo, [George] Bush! I ain't your damn hoe"
"I ain't goin' to war for a shit-talkin' president"
"Y'all lucky that I ain't the president, 'cause I'll push the fuckin' button and get it over with"
5. Public Enemy, "Fight The Power"
Perhaps the most influential anti-American (but really anti-bigotry/discrimination/etc.) song of all-time. Just SOOOOO good. It's as good as Flavor Flav is unpalatable.
I'm saying, holy cow that's a hell of a face to have to carry around for your entire life. I heard he offered The Elephant Man swapsies and T.E.M. was like, "Nah, nah. I'm good, bro. I think I'm gonna ride this out."
4. Adam & The Ants, "Ant Rap"
Harharhar. Just kidding. This came up during research when, while attempting to type "anti-American rap" I omitted the "I" and typed "ant-American rap." Google knows fucking EVERYTHING.
3. Mos Def, "Rock n' Roll"
He's taking digs at Elvis Presley, yo. They're (arguably) true, yes. But that's beside the point. YOU DON'T POKE THE KING WITH A STICK ON THE FOURTH OF JULY. I mean, I've never actually looked up the definition to "anti-American," but I'm pretty sure it specifically mentions not doing that.
2. The Throne, "We Made It In America"
Brilliant commentary on the unenviable plight of the minority male in modern America. If there was any misinterpretation of the intent of this song, Jay-Z and Kanye cleared it up when they performed it at their most recent tour, syncing it with pictures of, among other things, children of parents in the KKK.
1. Dead Prez, anything from their catalogue really, but definitely "Police State"
I don't know that any consumable rap group has ever focused more energies on being intimidatingly and unflinchingly political*. Really, it's all a bit paradoxical. It's like, for one, it'd be great if more rappers pursued being heady and thought-provoking, but on the other hand it's good that they don't because really how are we humans supposed to grind on each other at the club without Waka Flocka?
One of those 'What came first, the chicken or the egg" situations, for real, except in this case the chicken has had a few drinks and developed a semi-erection.
*They actually made a song in 2009 called "Politrikkks" that, minus a shaky chorus, might've been the most brilliant assessment of the Obama election. Listen to it. For real though, close your earholes during the hook. It's as bad as Flavor Flav is unpalatable**.
**See that? We in the business refer to that as a "call back."